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Principles of Assessment in Lifelong Learning Essay

1.1 Analyse how types of assessment are used in lifelong learning: “Assessments should be a regular process; it might not always be formalised, but you should be observing what your students are doing, asking questions and reviewing their progress throughout their time with you”. Gravells A. Page 113.

Has the outcome of my teaching been as expected; was there room for improvement? This can be measured through assessment; there are different ways to carry out this out.

Initial Assessment It is my responsibility to do this before a lesson or course is delivered. This will help determine how I will plan for the session so it sets and meets expectations for me the teacher and also the students. This will identify any prior knowledge, the stages the students are at and any special or specific requirements that are needed. Types of initial assessments are: * Tutor observations

* One-to-one interviews. This will help me learn if the learner is on the right course and what assignments they must do to complete the course. * Competency tests (maths, ICT and literacy). This will help me see if the students are competent in these skills. If there is any weakness I can then pinpoint those to the right people to help with them improve. * Essay writing. This will show me if the student is competent with their literacy skills. There will be a lot of written work throughout the course.

Formative Assessment is an on-going process. These will take place during the lesson. This can take the form of * Quizzes and puzzles. With multiple choice answers will help me to see if the students have learned anything from their previous set of lessons. * Verbal question and answers. This will help me see if the students comprehend the topic.

* Journals. Also can be used; to help the student record their feelings about the lessons, what went right and what can be improved on. This will enable me to assess whether I am teaching at the correct level or if I need to adjust my plan and methods. * Observations. I can walk around the room and observe the student’s work while taking anecdotal notes.

Summative Assessments are carried out at the end of a course to measure how much has been retained and where necessary can be articulated. This is usually through: * End of year formal tests or exams. To see what they have learnt over the year. * Portfolio: This is a collect ion of the students work throughout the course.

1.2 Analyse how assessment methods are used in lifelong learning: * To identify what prior knowledge a student has, I would create a self-assessment questionnaire that requires specific answers, (tick boxes). I would then build this into my session plan. * Diaries or Learning Journals would be used to document on-going learning from each session. Progress can then be measured and any gaps in teaching or learning can be then addressed. * Simulation would be used to see if students are able to understand instructions and how well they are able to reproduce what they have seen or heard, and how they might use them in everyday life. * Assignments would evaluate how well student are able to research particular subjects then put their findings into words. * Discussions or debates are a good vehicle for assessment when other methods may be difficult to manage. * Peer feedback where fellow students give their comments and ask questions for clarity.

1.3 Evaluate strengths of assessments methods to meet individual leaner needs: * Quizzes and puzzles can be used as an informal way to assess if learning is taking place. However if the purpose is to measure individual learning the questions would need to be varied. The most effective way to do this would be to have the assessment computer generated; this is not always possible if the correct software or facility is not available. * Diaries or learning journals, aid to literacy and language skills. The student would also be able to reflect back on what they have learnt; this will also build their confidence to self-assess. In order for this to work, there needs to be clear aims and objectives so the outcome is properly measured. * A portfolio is a formal way to gather evidence that has been produced over a period of time covering all topics taught on a course. This would need to be checked for things such as plagiarism; if the information used was current and properly referenced.

* Role play is another assessment method. The students will be given a scenario from their lesson; they will then have the opportunity to act out what they have understood, linking theory to practice. There needs to be clear explanations given as this can be time consuming and not all students may feel comfortable doing role plays. * Examinations can assess what students have retained. By just recalling information they have learnt or by using ‘open book’ method whereby they refer to notes or reference books. The down side of this is that students may have only been taught what is needed to pass the exam and not retain any of the other theories they may need at a later stage.

2.1 Evaluate how to involve learners in the assessment process: As a teacher I will carry out various methods of assessment. To maintain continuous improvement I will involve my students in the process. Giving my students clear guide lines I can get them to do peer to peer assessments, where they will give written or verbal feedback to each other. This will allow more focus on the subject being taught; encourage communication with each other, and where they may discover some common ground.

Sometimes comments coming from a peer can be better received than from the teacher. Checking their own work and progress through self-assessment is useful as this gives an opportunity for students to take a step back and reflect on what their objectives and whether they attained them. I will also conduct one to one tutorials, where we can discuss their objectives, progress and development. This will demonstrate positive and individual inclusion. “Assessment is a term given to checking that learning has occurred. It may happen at any stage during the learner’s progress through their qualification”. Wilson L. (2009). page112. Assessments are also a tool to motivate and boost the confidence of students.

2.2 Analyse the role of peer and self –assessment in the assessment process: Peer assessments are a good means of confirming and sharing ideas. During our micro-teach sessions I was able to describe my observations and justify how I reached that conclusion. My peers would agree or get me to look at what I had expressed in a different way. We would discuss and come to a consensus. We had to think carefully how to put our thoughts down on paper, so they were constructive and encouraging.

Looking at the peer assessment on my own performance for the delivery of a micro-teach session. I was pleased with the feedback. It clearly showed what I am confident in; what I need to improve on and what I should consider for future delivery. Their feedback was encouraging and it has confirmed that I have made the correct decision in what I am want to do career-wise.

I found putting into practice what I already know with what I have learnt over the past few weeks very useful. There were some challenges I had when creating my own micro-teach session, this is all part of the learning process for me. As the session I delivered came to an end I had already started to do a mental self- assessment. It was useful to be able to put down my own thoughts on paper as they came to me to know what I need to include going forward.

3.1 Explain the need to keep records of assessment learning: Assessments should be documented so there is some form of evidence as to what has been taught, how the learning is evaluated and was any progress made. Records also serve for the purpose of verification, in relation to audits for quality assurance and regulatory bodies, such as Ofsted.

The following are some of the following records that may be kept. * Assessment tracking, this can be used to show development and if the students requirements are being met. * Feedback and action records are used to show that a student has had feedback, what the agreed follow up is, and when it is to be carried out. * Learning styles results will aid with inclusiveness when reviewing or creating new session plans. * Appeal records are where a student has submitted in writing their reasons as to why they disagree with a formal decision that has been made. This can be used at a later date as part of that process. * Enrolment forms to confirm the student’s details are correct, point of contact in the case of an emergency; whether they are permitted to study. What the student signed up for, and are they are on correct course.

3.2 Summarise requirements for keeping records in an organisation: As part of my role I am going to make sure I follow the guide lines that are in place for me to keep records for an organisation, as these are regularly audited and reviewed. This will provide an audit trail of my students learning. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times by any organisation holding personal data to stay in line with the regulatory bodies (Data Protection Act). Records that are kept must be accurate, legible and current. There should be specific rules as to when information is considered obsolete. (This is usually about three years). Students have the right to request their records held about them. (Freedom of Information Act) if they are entering into an appeal process.

A backup copy of records must be made whether electronically or paper based so if one is lost there is always a duplicate.

“Consistency. You will always ensure that the methods and the timeliness of your assessments are at a level standard, making certain irrespective of how and when your learners are assessed, the outcomes are constant”. Wilson L. page 274.

Gravells A. (2012) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector Wilson L. (2009) Practical Teaching A Guide to PTLLS & DTLLS.

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